Donovan's last-minute strike sends US through

United States 1 Algeria 0

Landon Donovan scored a last-gasp winner to beat Algeria and put the United States into the last 16 after a pulsating and even match in which both sides created a host of chances to claim victory.

Donovan got the vital winner in the second minute of injury time just as it seemed the US were about to go out of the tournament. Instead, the result meant they finished top of Group C ahead of England on goal difference. Algeria were eliminated.

"I have been on a long journey the last four years. I'm just shocked and so proud of our guys, unbelievable. We're alive, baby," Donovan said after the match. "Clint [Dempsey] made a good run in the middle, the ball fell to me... time kind of stopped. You can't miss from there," he added about his winner.

US coach Bob Bradley was delighted with his team's never-say-die performance. "These guys put a lot into it," he said. "They never quit. We were pushing hard for a goal. It made for a wide open game, but we needed a win."

Algeria's coach, Rabah Saadane, was left to rue missed chances. "In the final moments both teams began to attack but the Americans had the luck today," he said.

The match was only 12 seconds old when the first chance fell to Algeria's Karim Ziani but his volley from outside the penalty area flew just wide of Tim Howard's goal. The North Africans came close again in the sixth minute with another volley, Rafik Djebbour taking advantage of a mistake by defender Jay DeMerit, only to see his shot crash against the bar.

The Americans responded just moments later with a powerful drive by striker Herculez Gomez, which forced goalkeeper Rais Ouheb Mbouli to palm the ball away for a corner.

The United States had a goal disallowed late in their 2-2 draw with Slovenia and were frustrated again when Dempsey's 20th-minute finish from a Gomez pass was ruled offside.

Dempsey threatened again on 57 minutes when a Jozy Altidore cross fell to him near the penalty spot, but his curling shot hit the post.

Seven minutes later the United States pushed forward once more when Benny Feilhaber, who came on at halftime for Gomez, put in a dangerous cross that forced Mbouli into a reflex save with his outstretched leg.

The United States looked the more dangerous side, but the Algerians gave them occasional scares, such as Hassan Yebda's 68th-minute fierce strike that went wide after a flowing counter-attack.

Donovan settled the contest right at the death but there was still time for Algeria's Antar Yahia to be sent off for a second yellow card.

United States (4-4-2): Howard; Bocanegra (Beasley, 81), Cherundolo, Bornstein, DeMerit; Bradley, Dempsey, Edu (Buddle, 64), Donovan; Gomez (Feilhaber, 46), Altidore.

Algeria (4-4-2): M'Bohli; Bougherra, Yahia, Halliche, Belhadj; Lacen, Ziani (Guedioura 69), Yebda, Kadir; Djebbour (Ghezzal 67), Matmour (Saifi 86).

Referee F De Bleeckere (Belgium).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea